Linking Brain Imagery, Brain Tumours, and Cognitive & Mental Disorders in Adults

Research Paper Title

Brain tumours, cognitive and mental disorders in adults.

Background

Cognitive and mental disorders are observed in 15-20% of brain tumours, and can be the first symptoms.

The severity of cognitive deficits varies from attention and reasoning disorders to major syndromes such as delirium, amnesic syndrome or dementia.

Mental disorders range from apathy, irritability to major depressive or psychotic symptoms.

Cognitive and mental disorders are related to many factors including the localisation and nature of the tumour, peritumoral and remote changes, and personal susceptibility.

The diagnosis of brain tumour is presently made by brain imagery, but the difficulty remains to determine when imagery is to be used in cognitive or mental disorders.

Reference

Derouesne, C. (2020) Brain tumors, cognitive and mental disorders in adults. Geriatrie et Psychologie Neuropsychiatrie du Vieillissement. 13(2), pp.187-194. doi: 10.1684/pnv.2015.0533.

Is There an Association between Cardiovasular Disease & Executive Function in Those with Bipolar Disorder?

Research Paper Title

Cumulative Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Triglycerides Differentially Relate to Subdomains of Executive Function in Bipolar Disorder; preliminary findings.

Background

Cardiovascular disease is disproportionally prevalent in bipolar disorder (BD) and has been linked to cognition in preliminary studies. The researchers evaluate the association between known risk factors for cardiovascular disease and executive function in BD patients compared to healthy controls.

Methods

In a sample of n=57 individuals (n=23 BD, n=34 controls) they assessed two subdomains of executive function; cognitive flexibility (using the Trail Making Test – Part B) and cognitive inhibition (using the Stroop Colour Word Interference Task). Cardiovascular risk was assessed by means of serum triglyceride levels, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, as well as dietary saturated fat intake and a sex-specific cumulative cardiovascular risk score calculated using the Framingham Heart Study method.

Results

Patients with BD had higher BMI and waist circumference, with more BD patients categorised as having central obesity than controls. In the BD group only, higher triglyceride levels were associated with worse cognitive flexibility, and elevated cumulative cardiovascular disease risk was associated with worse cognitive inhibition. No correlations between cardiovascular risk factors and executive function were evident in the control group.

The study was limited by the small sample size and should be considered hypothesis-generating.

Conclusions

The associations between triglyceride levels, cumulative cardiovascular disease risk and executive functioning evident in BD in this study preliminarily indicate the potential for mechanistic overlap of physical health and cognitive function in the disorder.

Reference

Van Rheenen, T.E., McIntyre, R.S., Balanza-Martinez, V., Berk, M. & Rossell, S.L. (2020) Cumulative Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Triglycerides Differentially Relate to Subdomains of Executive Function in Bipolar Disorder; preliminary findings. Journal of Affective Disorders. 278, pp.556-562. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.09.104. Online ahead of print.

What is the Association with Several Physical, Mental, & Cognitive Health Outcomes with Gait Speed in Older Adults?

Research Paper Title

Clinical and Ambulatory Gait Speed in Older Adults: Associations With Several Physical, Mental, and Cognitive Health Outcomes.

Background

Although clinical gait speed may indicate health and wellbeing in older adults, there is a lack of studies comparing clinical tests with ambulatory gait speed with regard to several health outcomes.

The objective of this study was to examine the associations of clinical gait speed, measured by the 2.44 meter walk test and the ambulatory gait speed with several physical, mental, and cognitive health outcomes in older adults.

A cross-sectional design was used.

Methods

The study population comprised 432 high-functioning community-dwelling older adults (287 women) aged between 65 and 92.

Clinical and ambulatory gait speeds were measured using the 2.44 m walk test and a portable gait analysis device, respectively.

Multiple linear regressions were used to examine the association of clinical and ambulatory gait speeds with several health outcomes (BMI, waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, chronic conditions, self-rated health, exhaustion, upper and lower body strength, physical and mental health status, cognitive status and self-rated cognitive status).

Results

The results showed that the average gait speed for clinical and ambulatory measures cannot be directly compared.

Clinical gait speed was associated with 7 health outcomes, while the ambulatory gait speed was associated with 6 health outcomes.

The significant associations between measures of gait speed and the health outcomes converged in 5 of the 13 health outcomes studied, however, the strength of associations were singly different between measures.

The short monitoring time, the inability to distinguish between the ambulatory gait speed inside the home and outdoor gait speed, and the under-representative sample are limitations of the study.

Conclusions

The results indicated differences in the number and strength of associations between clinical and ambulatory gait speed.

Both measures have construct validity because they have been associated with physical and health outcomes, however, they may have different predictive validity.

Further research should be done to compare their predictive validity in longitudinal designs.

Reference

De la Cámara, M.Á., Higueras-Fresnillo, S., Sadarangani, K.P., Esteban-Cornejo, I., Martinez-Gomez, D. & Veiga, Ó.L. (2020) Clinical and Ambulatory Gait Speed in Older Adults: Associations With Several Physical, Mental, and Cognitive Health Outcomes. Physical Therapy. pii: pzz186. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzz186. [Epub ahead of print].

Cognitive Subgroups of Schizophrenia: Are There Brain Morphological & Functional Features?

Research Paper Title

Brain morphological and functional features in cognitive subgroups of schizophrenia.

Background

Previous studies have reported different brain morphologies in different cognitive subgroups of patients with schizophrenia. The researchers aimed to examine the brain structures and functional connectivity in these cognitive subgroups of schizophrenia.

Methods

The researchers compared brain structures among healthy controls and cognitively deteriorated and preserved subgroups of patients with schizophrenia according to the decline in intelligence quotient.

Connectivity analyses between subcortical regions and other brain areas were performed using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging among the groups.

Results

Whole brain and total cortical gray matter, right fusiform gyrus, left pars orbitalis gyrus, right pars triangularis, left superior temporal gyrus and left insula volumes and bilateral cortical thickness were decreased in the deteriorated group compared to the control and preserved groups.

Both schizophrenia subgroups had increased left lateral ventricle, right putamen and left pallidum and decreased bilateral hippocampus, left precentral gyrus, right rostral middle frontal gyrus and bilateral superior frontal gyrus volumes compared with controls.

Hyperconnectivity between the thalamus and a broad range of brain regions was observed in the deteriorated group compared to connectivity in the control group, and this hyperconnectivity was less evident in the preserved group.

The researchers also found hyperconnectivity between the accumbens and the superior and middle frontal gyri in the preserved group compared with connectivity in the deteriorated group.

Conclusions

These findings provide evidence of prominent structural and functional brain abnormalities in deteriorated patients with schizophrenia, suggesting that cognitive subgroups in schizophrenia might be useful biotypes to elucidate brain pathophysiology for new diagnostic and treatment strategies.

Reference

Yasuda, Y., Okada, N., Nemoto, K., Fukunaga, M., Yamamori, H., Ohi, K., Koshiyama, D., Kudo, N., Shiino, T., Morita, S., Morita, K., Azechi, H., Fujimoto, M., Miura, K., Watanabe, Y., Kasai, K. & Hashimoto, R. (2019) Brain morphological and functional features in cognitive subgroups of schizophrenia. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. doi: 10.1111/pcn.12963. [Epub ahead of print].